The rector of a large Manawatu school is looking into doing away with NCEA Level 1, saying it is now essentially useless and puts unnecessary stress on pupils.
Stuff reports that David Bovey of Palmerston North Boys' High School has proposed changing the school's curriculum to not offer enough credits for level 1 from 2019.
The move would follow in the footsteps of Rototuna Senior High School, Fairfield College and Hobsonville Point Secondary Schools, which have already done so.
Mr Bovey told Stuff that Level 1 is now essentially useless, as government assessment targets now stipulate that Level 2 is the minimum qualification for school leavers to go to university.
Not getting Level 1 credits does not stop pupils from gaining Level 2, and Mr Bovey says the increased workload and "continuous grind" of assessments is affecting pupils' mental health.
"While not all of the blame can be laid at the feet of NCEA – this time period also marks the advent of the smartphone and social media – there is little doubt that it is a noteworthy contributing factor and one of the reasons for the national NCEA review currently under way," Mr Bovey said in a newsletter.
Post Primary Teachers Association president Jack Boyle agrees, telling Stuff: "How do they find the balance when there is a high-stakes assessment every couple of weeks for three years?"
"It's about being able to be kids, being able to enjoy sports and take part in cultural activities."
PNBHS will now seek feedback and undertake consultation with affected parties.